Policy Wins for Colorado Life Sciences Community with SB 175 Amendments
By: Colorado BioScience Association Date: 06/07/2021
As the legislative session nears an end, health care and prescription drug bills are still being negotiated. Last week, Colorado SB 175 passed the House floor on a second reading on Friday. CBSA thanks our lobbyists and partners for the incredibly hard work to negotiate 12 amendments. Five of them passed, which represent important policy wins for our life sciences community.
In the Senate, negotiations were underway as legislators considered the negative implications of the bill on the availability of life-saving medications in Colorado. After much dispute, a five-year sunset amendment made it onto the bill. This sunset provision is a measure to ensure that the law will cease to have effect after five years, unless further legislative action is taken to extend the law.
As the bill moved over to the House, the life sciences coalition continued to lobby against the bill. The amendments that were offered in committee were rebuffed by bill sponsors and the Governor.
Just before the debate on the House floor, there was a breakthrough in negotiations. Thanks to Minority Leader Hugh McKean, along with the life sciences coalition, legislators agreed to several amendments. Now the board will be required to solicit more information from patients, caregivers, providers, and scientists. Additionally, the board will also have to solicit input from the drug manufacturers about the feasibility of setting an upper payment limit.
CBSA led the way on another important change to the bill. As introduced, the legislation would have allowed upper payment limits on any drug when the price rose more than $3,000 per year. However, that was changed to only allow such an action when a price goes up more than 10 percent in a year. These changes, along with protecting the five-year sunset, were significant changes to protect health innovation in Colorado. All changes include:
- Amend trigger threshold from $3,000 to 10%
- Ask for additional input to the PDAB from patients, caregivers, providers, and scientists
- Request additional input to the PDAB from manufacturers
In addition two other amendments were added at the request of the pharmacists, which do not directly impact our companies (L.153 and L.154).
Our policy team continues to prioritize the fight against SB 175 for the life sciences ecosystem during this legislative session.